Meet Dana and be inspired.
Introduction: please provide an overview about you and your family:
We are a family of 7, soon to be 10, as we are currently adopting 3 children from Haiti. I really want to glean all I can from this informative DVD to help heal any malnutrition in our adopted babies! Something I’m trying to grow in now is balancing our nutrition.
Having a vision for sustainable, healthy living, it has been challenging living in a very small tract home with a very small backyard. But God has provided many ways for us to feed our family well – even on one income. Don’t be discouraged about the cost, time spent, or lack of space to eat healthy! Get creative, get the whole family involved, barter, work in stages, forage, and simplify – these things have helped us to make giant leaps in family health, though we still have so much to learn! :)
Though we would love to have acreage someday, for now we have very limited space. In spite of that, we were able to raise 26 meat chickens completely organically. We sprouted grains indoors, which made up the bulk of their feed. This past Saturday, it only took my husband and I and our 2 older daughters 2 hours to completely process the chickens. We now have meat, organ meats, and chicken feet and heads to add to stocks. Mmmm! :))
We have a little 10′ X 15′ organic garden going with lettuces, spinach, cillantro, zucchini, carrots, tomatoes, etc.
What are the ways you nourish rather than merely feed your family?
Our parents have land where we are raising a grass-fed, organic cow, which will be ready for processing in the fall. We also bartered with some good friends who have property … They’ve been pasturing our 8 lambs, and in return we’ve bought some of the feed for their other animals. The lamb has been an excellent source of healthy meat as well as organ meats and stock.
We’ve even been able to save a significant amount on dog food, as the scraps from the animals we process are very nutritious for them!
We’ve been tremendously blessed to barter healthy treats for raw milk from another good friend who has a jersey cow. We make our own yogurt and kefir and other dairy products with that. We also use the clabbered milk to soak things like whole grain, freshly milled flours for pancakes … Yum!
What were your first steps?
The first thing we did was to get rid of processed foods, refined white sugar, flour, and salt. We started using whole, organic grains and legumes, raw honey, and Real Salt or sea salt.
Next we got rid of all of the toxic hygenic products and cleaners. We make our own soap, lip balm, and things like that now. Best shampoo I’ve found is baking soda and conditioner… vinegar! You can’t beat that for frugal. :) The amount of $$$ we’ve saved in hygenic products alone is enough to afford you an increase in your healthy-food-budget … not to mention what you save on commercial cleaners and such!
We researched the ingredients in spices/seasonings and discovered a lot of unhealthy things lurking in the spice cabinet …We now have lots of fresh seasonings which we grew or bought in bulk and also make our own spice blends to replace the stuff we used to buy. No more GMO spices! :)
Buying organic produce has been a financial challenge. There are organic fruits and veggies available at popular bulk stores. We also go to farmer’s markets and grow what we can of our own. We buy in quantity what is in season. Canning is a great way to make use Learning which fruits and veggies are on the “dirty dozen” list and which might be okay to buy non-organic has helped. Search out local small scale farmers and see if you can find good deals and support them as well.
Organic dairy came later as an answer to prayers as mentioned above.
Raising our own has been the answer for us to the high cost of organic, grass-fed meats. Another thing that has helped is to use store bought organic meat and poultry sparingly in quinoa, soups, and other meals that str-r-retch your supply!
How do you know you and your family are well nourished?
When you eat what God created for food, the way God designed it, you know you’re eating well because you’re healthy! For several years, I used to get urinary tract infections almost every month!!! A wonderful friend introduced me to the benefits of herbal tinctures and eating whole, healthy foods … I’ve officially been UTI-free for 1 year and 8 months!! I’ve also been able to cure recurrent cold sores abd allergies completely naturally and no longer have either! All I’ve changed is that I don’t use toxic, harmful prescription drugs anymore and I eat healthy.
Raspberry leaf tea, evening primrose oil, chaste berry tincture, and diet have also been a significant support in female health. :)
Praise God our whole family is healthy. We rarely get sick. Making our own elderberry syrup and herbal teas has been a wonderful preventive measure and is very cost effective!
What are some of your favorite meals or favorite foods?
One of our favorite yummy recipes is a chicken sausage recipe given to me by a good friend. It actually tastes like breakfast sausage, which was a big treat, since our whole family used to really enjoy bacon and sausages and had really missed them. Every year we have a blast as a family picking fresh raspberries! We used some of them to make jam with raw honey instead of sugar. We love yogurt and yogurt smoothies made from raw milk. We add organic spinach and kale and chia seeds to smoothies to boost nutrition. Turning frozen bananas (nothing added!) into ice cream is another idea I borrowed from a great friend. We also really enjoy carrot fries (!), mozarella crackers, lemon chicken, soups, homemade pasta, homemade pizza, fresh salsa, salads, fish, and Mexican food! :)
What pearls of wisdom would you offer those new to these principles?
How we get and prepare our foods can be just as fun as eating food as a family! If you’re pressed for time, eat raw foods! They are usually healthier anyhow, and you save a lot on preparation and clean-up! Start a vegetable or herb garden together. Raise and process your own meats. Forage as a family! There are whole books that teach you what you can forage and where to find things. It’s free or close-to-it and is a great family outing. Fishing and hunting are great ways to put meals on the table and make some of the best memories!! Share the responsibilities- each family member can have their own assignments in researching, shopping, growing, and preparing foods. Make it fun. :)
Comparing the increase in your food budget and the thousands it will save you in medical bills later on will show how worth-it healthy living changes are! Finances are really the least of concerns when you think of the health risks to your children and yourself living on a modern, convenience-priority diet. Avoid disease, infertility, and poor quality of life. Invest in your own health for the health of future generations… a Multigenerational Investment! :)
Sandrine’s notes: I appreciate what I experience as Dana’s positive, creative, can-do approach to nourishing herself and her children. This testimonial has warmed my heart deeply and leaves me inspired. If a family of 7 can do it — so can we! Learn more about how to nourish rather than merely fed your family with our DVD.
Comments and Questions: Please feel free to ask Dana questions about how she and her family to it!